Element Composition, Total Phenolics and Antioxidant Activity of Wild and Cultivated Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus L.) Fruits and Leaves during the Harvest Time



In Europe, blackberry (Rubus fruticosus L.) fruits are cultivated for fresh or processed products, and the leaves are collected for medicinal uses mainly from wild-grown populations. In this study, mineral composition, total phenolic content (Folin-Ciocalteu’s method), and total antioxidant capacity (ferric reducing ability of plasma, FRAP) of blackberries were determined during the harvest period. Leaves and fruits were harvested from wild-grown and cultivated plants at the same locations. Results showed that sampling time and growing place influenced the element composition. Concentration of Ca, Fe, K, Mg, P, Zn was significantly higher in cultivated fruits, however, content of Al, Cu, Mn was higher in wild-grown samples. Total phenolic content (TPC) and FRAP values in the leaves increased slightly during the vegetation period. Fruits were harvested at the same maturity stage, their TPC and FRAP level were not influenced by the harvest time. TPC and FRAP levels were higher in blackberry fruits than that in leaves. Significant differences were obtained for TPC and FRAP between wild and cultivated plants, both parameters were higher in the cultivated blackberries. Positive linear correlation was found between the TPC results of wild and cultivated blackberry leaves and fruits, and the same was true for FRAP values. Between TPC and FRAP also a strong positive relationship was observed both in leaves and fruits. Our findings suggest that cultivated blackberry fruits had higher mineral level and antioxidant properties than the wild ones; however, the antioxidant power of leaves from wild populations was similar to that of cultivated plants.


antioxidant capacity; FRAP; medicinal plant; mineral content; total phenolics

Full Text:



Ali L, Alsanius BW, Rosberg AK, Svensson B, Nielsen T, Olsson ME (2012). Effects of nutrition strategy on the levels of nutrients and bioactive compounds in blackberries. European Food Research and Technology 234:33-44.

Benzie IFF, Strain JJ (1996). Ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of antioxidant power: The FRAP assay. Analytical Biochemistry 239(1):70-76.

Bobinaité R, Viskelis P, Venskutonis PR (2012). Variation of total phenolics, anthocyanins, ellagic acid and radical scavenging capacity in various raspberry (Rubus spp.) cultivars. Food Chemistry 132(3):1495-1501.

Bowen-Forbes CS, Zhang Y, Nair MG (2010). Anthocyanin content, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties of blackberry and raspberry fruits. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 23(6):554-560.

Buricová L, Andjelkovic M, Cermáková A, Réblová Z, Jurcek O, Kolehmainen E, … Kvasnicka F (2011). Antioxidant capacity and antioxidants of strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry leaves. Czech Journal of Food Sciences 29(2):181-189.

Cata A, Stefanut MN, Pop R, Tanasie C, Mosoarca C, Zamfir AD (2016). Evaluation of antioxidant activities of some small fruits containing anthocyanins using electrochemical and chemical methods. Croatica Chemica Acta 89(1):37-48.

Dai J, Patel JD, Mumper RJ (2007). Characterization of blackberry extract and its antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory properties. Journal of Medicinal Food 10(2):258-265.

De Souza VR, Pereira PAP, Da Silva TLT, De Oliveira Lima LC, Pio R, Queiroz F (2014). Determination of the bioactive compounds, antioxidant activity and chemical composition of Brazilian blackberry, red raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and sweet cherry fruits. Food Chemistry 156:362-368.

Ferlemi AV, Lamari FN (2016). Berry leaves: An alternative source of bioactive natural products of nutritional and medicinal value. Antioxidants 5(2):17.

Gündogdu M, Kan T, Canan I (2016). Bioactive and antioxidant characteristics of blackberry cultivars from East Anatolia. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry 40:344-351.

Konieczynski P, Wesolowski M (2012). Water-extractable magnesium, manganese and copper in leaves and herbs of medicinal plants. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica - Drug Research 69(1):33-39.

Kostecka-Gugala A, Ledwozyw-Smolen I, Augustynowicz J, Wyzgolik G, Krucze M, Kaszycki P (2015). Antioxidant properties of fruits of raspberry and blackberry grown in central Europe. Open Chemistry 13: 1313-1325.

Lee J, Dossett M, Finn CE (2012). Rubus fruit phenolic research: The good, the bad, and the confusing. Food Chemistry 130:785-796.

Milivojevic J, Maksimovic V, Nikolic M, Bogdanovic J, Maletic R, Milatovic D (2011). Chemical and antioxidant properties of cultivated and wild Fragaria and Rubus berries. Journal of Food Quality 34(1):1-9.

Nile SH, Park SW (2014). Edible berries: Bioactive components and their effect on human health. Nutrition 30(2):134-144.

Nujkic MM, Dimitrijevic MM, Alagic SC, Tosic SB, Petrovic JV (2016). Impact of metallurgical activities on the content of trace elements in the spatial soil and plant parts of Rubus fruticosus L. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 18(3):297-418.

Oszmianski J, Wojdylo A, Nowicka P, Teleszko M, Cebulak T, Wolanin M (2015). Determination of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity in leaves from wild Rubus species. Molecules 20(3):4951-4966.

Pantelidis GE, Vasilakakis M, Manganaris GA, Diamantidis G (2007). Antioxidant capacity, phenol, anthocyanin, and ascorbic acid contents in raspberries, blackberries, red currants, gooseberries and Cornelian cherries. Food Chemistry 102:777-783.

Paredes-López O, Cervantes-Ceja ML, Vigna-Pérez M, Hernández-Pérez T (2010). Berries: Improving human health and healthy aging, and promoting quality life – A review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 65(3):299-308.

Pharmacopoea Hungarica (2004). Medicina Press (8th ed). Budapest.

Piwowarski PJ, Kiss A, Kozlowska-Wojciechowska M (2011). Anti-hyaluronidase and anti-elastase activity screening of tannin-rich plant materials used in traditional Polish medicine for external treatment of diseases with inflammatory background. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137(1):937-941.

Plessi M, Bertelli D, Albasini A (2007). Distribution of metals and phenolic compounds as a criterion to evaluate variety of berries and related jams. Food Chemistry 100:419-427.

Reyes-Carmona J, Yousef GG, Martinez-Peniche RA, Lila MA (2005). Antioxidant capacity of fruit extracts of blackberry (Rubus sp.) produced in different climatic regions. Journal of Food Science 70(7):S497-S503.

Seeram NP (2012). Emerging research supporting the positive effects of berries on human health and disease prevention. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(23):5885-5886.

Singleton VL, Rossi JA (1965). Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic phosphotungstic acid reagents. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 16(3):144-158.

Siriwoharn T, Wrolstad RE, Finn CE, Pereira CB (2004). Influence of cultivar, maturity, and sampling on blackberry (Rubus L. hybrids) anthocyanins, polyphenolics, and antioxidant properties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52:8021-8030.

Szajdek A, Borowska E (2008). Bioactive compounds and health-promoting properties of berry fruits: A review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 63(4):147-156.

Tavares L, Figueira I, McDougall GJ, Vieira HL, Stewart D, Alves PM, … Santos CN (2013). Neuroprotective effects of digested polyphenols from wild blackberry species. European Journal of Nutrition 52:225-236.

Toth A, Braun M, Toth Z, Gor D, Lakatos G (2008). Element composition of Rosa canina and Rubus fruticosus fruits at an abandoned metalliferous minesite in N-Hungary. Cereal Research Communications 36(5):1655-1658.

USDA-ARS (2016). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USDA nutrient database for standard reference, Release 28. Retrieved 2018 February 10 from http://www.nal.usda.gov/ fnic/foodcomp.

Wang SY, Lin HS (2000). Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48(2):140-146.

Yilmaz KU, Zengin Y, Ercisli S, Serce S, Gunduz K, Sengul M, Asma BM (2009). Some selected physico-chemical characteristics of wild and cultivated blackberry fruits (Rubus fruticosus L.) from Turkey. Romanian Biotechnological Letters 14(1):4152-4163.

Zia-Ul-Haq M, Riaz M. De Feo V, Jaafar HZE, Moga M (2014). Rubus fruticosus L.: Constituents, biological activities and health related uses. Molecules 19(8):10998-11029.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/nbha46210993

June 1, 2017: Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca in CiteScore rank (Scopus – Elsevier) 28/66 in Horticulture